Issued by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases based on laboratory testing data
- The NICD has tested 6616 serum samples for measles since epidemiological week 40, 2022, of which 1124 (17%) were confirmed positive. In the past weeks (week 30 up until week 31, 05/08/2023) six laboratory-confirmed measles cases were detected across the country, three of the cases were from Limpopo province while Free State, Gauteng, and North West reported one case each.
- The percentage of samples testing positive (PTP) slightly decreased from 10% (4/39) of samples tested in week 30 to 9% (2/22) of samples tested in week 31.
- To declare the measles outbreak over, the following criteria should be achieved: Absence of newly detected measles cases for more than two incubation periods (42 days). The criteria for declaring the measles outbreak over was met in the Northern Cape province in week 15, the North West province in week 24, and the Free State province in week 25.
- Although not all provinces have achieved the criteria to declare the outbreak over, the outbreak is effectively over. Since week 27, all provinces where the outbreak was declared, including Limpopo and Gauteng provinces who were the drivers of the outbreak since week 10, 2023 have been reporting sporadic cases. Despite Limpopo reporting three of the six cases in weeks 30 and 31, it is important to note that the cases were not from the same district, Waterberg district (2) and Greater Sekhukhune (1).
From epidemiological week 40, 2022 to week 31, 2023, the NICD tested 6616 serum samples for measles of which 1124 (17%) were confirmed measles cases. The number of samples submitted and the percentage of laboratory-confirmed measles positive cases are shown in Figure 1. From epidemiological week 40 of 2022 to week 31 of 2023, 1115 laboratory-confirmed cases were reported from eight provinces with declared measles outbreaks; Limpopo (515 cases), Mpumalanga (112 cases), North West (218 cases), Gauteng (183 cases, Free State (33 cases), Western Cape (18), KwaZulu-Natal (29) and Northern Cape (7) (Table 1). The number of blood samples and throat swabs submitted to the NICD for measles serology and PCR testing decreased from 39 in week 30 to 22 tests in week 31.